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Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression Hardcover – June 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393066789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393066784
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A British fashion industry insider, Brampton wrote for Vogue and the Observer before launching Elle magazine in the U.K. By midlife, she had a successful, creative career, many close friends and a lovely daughter. Everything was going fabulously—until she fell apart. A paralyzing depression gripped her so intensely, she finally acknowledged that she needed to be institutionalized. Unfortunately, she was one of the many with treatment-resistant depression—high-tech pharmaceuticals just didn't work for her. As she cycled in and out of mental wards, survived suicide attempts and tried countless therapies, she learned a lot about depression—the stigma surrounding it, how it's triggered, the range of available therapies. With unflinching honesty, she describes her own experiences as well as sharing her research, letting readers take from it what you need and leave the rest. Brampton is particularly good at describing the currently favored therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and cognitive mindfulness behavioral therapy. Her openness to all sorts of treatment, including acupuncture, is refreshing, as is the ease with which she advises friends and family on how to be most helpful. Brampton's story is accessible and endearing. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sally Brampton lives in London and is a highly acclaimed novelist, columnist, and journalist. She also teaches fashion at the Fashion Institute.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
A very poignant and personal description of one woman's experiences.
Amazon Customer
I originally got this book from the library and after reading it decided that I wanted a copy to refer back to in the future.
Desert Sunrise
The reason EVERYONE should read this is that everyone knows someone who is depressed.
Beesusie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit I didn't know much, ok anything, about Sally Brampton, before picking up this book. Brampton was a successful writer, columnist and founding editor of (British) "Elle" magazine. Then her world fell apart.

In "Shoot the Damn Dog" (326 pages), the author brings her harrowing tale of descending into a full-blown depression, and the harrowing and life-changing consequences it had on her, and it has on many people. In the early part of the book, Brampton retells how she managed to be so successful. As Brampton makes clear, her depression came about by not just one singular event, but by many. She was let go as the editor of "Red" magazine, a devastating event, that was then compounded by other events, including a failed marriage and the death of a close event. On the termination of het stint at "Red", the author observes "So the failure of my editorship at "Red" was not simply the failure of a job. It was the destruction of an absolute truth about myself". The author's tales of her numerous visits and stays into various hospitals are equally devastating. At one point she observes "I thought that if I went into hospital, I would become well. I thought a pill could make me better. The failure of both to do either was almost more catastrophic for me than the illness itself". Wow.

This book is not for the faint of heart, although having emerged from her long bout, the author shares with us that "It;s two years since I emerged from depression and I no longer want myself dead. I want myself alive. I am no longer my own enemy." That's about as 'uplifting' as this book gets, but then again this book is not so much about uplifting as it is about making us understand that depression is an illness, a very serious one, yet one from which one can emerge victoriously, albeit one day at the time.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gordon M on June 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have never been formally diagnosed with depression, yet like most people I guess, I have had spells of 'the blues' and feelings of melancholia at times. I have however a mother who has suffered from manic depression all her life and my second wife has been in the same boat for the past five years.

Sally Brampton's book is high on my recommended list. Written with honesty, clarity and humor, it certainly gives a most important insight in to what it must be like to be seriously depressed.

There are many books on depression out there. This one gets is.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tyler2 on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Shoot the Damn Dog is so on target. I suffer from depression as do many in my family. I read it in one sitting after taking in out of the library. Found the book on Amazon & purchased 2 of them. one to keep & the other I gave it to my sister to read.
She recently passed but I hope she gave it to her daughter & son to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ru4truth on June 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I suffer from depression and have been helped via medication. When I read this book (just from the "look inside" option) I was in tears - this it the brutal truth of what it feels like to be depressed. I ordered it immediately not because I want to remember/revisit the emotional upheavals, but rather because it is the BEST work I have ever read - and BELIEVE me, I have read MANY in a quest to "determine" whether I was depressed. This auther takes you by the hand and leads you through the darkest, most sinister journey you could ever take. Truly a masterful piece of work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beesusie VINE VOICE on November 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing account of the author's depression. Her depression was a very deep persistent depression, seemingly incurable.

There was no single incident that started her slide to depression. She describes her feelings and treatments and the insights she developed.

Many treatment methods were used for her, but she seemed resistant. However, gradually, it was a few consistent friendships, one made in a treatment faciity, that basically allowed her to develop enough confidence to eventually follow through on some treatments including a 12-Step program and medications.

The reason EVERYONE should read this is that everyone knows someone who is depressed. And even if we have been depressed and "gotten over it" we may forget what it was like or believe the person can recover as we did or just MUST take the medications, or just "get a grip." In persistent cases we just do not know what to do and feel helpless. However this book shows you what the depressive person is going through, and that if we can remain a loyal friend despite the fact that the person stays depressed we ARE helping.

In her discussion of the 12-Step program the author analyzes her understanding of a "higher power" and "god as we understand him." This analysis can be useful the those who strongly believe in God and think that if only the depressed person would turn to God they would be healed. Well, a 12-step program may be useful, but perhaps not turning to our own concept of God and religious observance.

This book should serve as a resource of hope for someone who is depressed. A depressed person can see how some of the treatments didn't work with the author,or didn't at first but eventually helped. Nevertheless she finally recovered anyway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Stewart on December 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderfully articulated and candid memoir on living through / living with depression. I first read this as a library book and decided I wanted my own copy to be able to re-visit some passages from time to time. I felt like I was not alone in how I was feeling / living.
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